The Pitt Panthers will take on the Kentucky Wildcats in 2011 BBVA Compass Bowl odds from Legion Field in Birmingham, AL on Saturday with a start time of 12:00pm EST and will be aired on ESPN. Online sportsbooks opened with Pittsburgh as a 3.5-point favorite in Compass Bowl lines vs Kentucky with an over/under betting total of 52.5. The money line at sportsbooks has opened with the Panthers as a -165 favorite in 2011 Compass Bowl odds and the Wildcats as a +145 underdog.
Kentucky limps into the Compass Bowl with 6 losses in their final 9 games and just 1 payout in their last 5 outings as they finished Joker Phillips first year as coach with a mark of 6-6 straight up and against the spread with 9 of their games going OVER the total. Kentucky had a respectable offense that ranked 25th overall but QB Mike Hartline, who passed for 3,178 yards, is suspended for this game. The Wildcats were inconsistent on defense and ranked 73rd nationally for points allowed which is why they are home underdogs in 2011 Compass Bowl lines. Pitt coach Dave Wannstedt it expected to coach in this bowl game despite being fired at season’s end for what was perceived to be another underachieving season.
The Panthers finished 7-5 straight up and 6-4-2 against the spread with 7 of their games going OVER the total. Bad nationally televised home losses to Miami (31-3) and West Virginia (35-10) played a major role in the firing of Wannstedt as the program seemed to not be at a level of development or talent that was being sold to the public and handicappers each year. Heading into 2011 Compass Bowl odds, Pitt finished in a tie for the Big East title with Connecticut and West Virginia in the very weak Big East Conference and it was felt that Pitt should have dominated the league. Pitt ranked 10th in the country for defense but 73rd for total offense heading into Compass Bowl lines as field-goal favorites.
2011 Compass Bowl Picks: Kentucky Wildcats +3.5